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030 to 900 AT: Interplanetary Era

Jupiter
Image from Steve Bowers

(2000 to 2900 c.e.)

New Feature; Scrollable Timeline



A period of tremendous social, technological, industrial, and memetic transformation, the Interplanetary Era began with the great infotech, biotech, bionanotech, and space colonization advances of the 21st century Information Age. The period eventually culminated in an evolutionary wavecrest that carried a few representatives of Terragen mindkind, the superbrights and superturings, almost to the threshold of transapience.

As the decades wore on, early transhumanist fancies of collective technorapture turned out to be just that: a pop-transhumanist adaptation of Judaeo-Christian millennialism. However, at some time during this period a few superturing AIs attained a personal Singularity, and crossed the first toposophic barrier. For reasons of their own, they did not make this known to humans and lesser ais. Hence the Singularity went unnoticed by the general population.

Meanwhile humanity expanded throughout the solar system, establishing polities and utopias in orbital habitats, on the Moon and Mars, and in the asteroid belt and beyond. It was the new age of adventure, the High Frontier. Entrepreneurs, prospectors, visionaries, lunatics, rebels and outlaws, space-going megacorporations, terrestrial and orbital governments, and an abundance of superbright, parahuman, and post-human cultures, all contended for their piece of the vast resources that deep space held. All the while technology kept spiraling upwards. Governments were unable to cope, and superbrights, ais, and posthumans manipulated the masses of human level minds beneath them. More threatening were the covert nanotech crises and wars that developed as more and more advanced technology fell into the hands of those lacking the moral responsibility to use it, culminating in the great Nanodisaster. The survivors of the swarms, and those technically able to cope, sheltered under shields of blue goo, or fled to the Oort cloud and established cultures and isolationist societies that would last for centuries, some becoming increasingly stratified and rigid, others undergoing astonishing flowerings, until civilization once again emerged in the form of a brave new federation of humanity and other Terragens.

 
Sub-Topics
 
Articles
  • Ahuman (A-human) AIs, The  - Text by Steve Bowers, M. Alan Kazlev
    Superphyle of artificially intelligent entities (AI) who have rejected any form of relationship with humanity or other intelligent biological species. First emerging during the Interplanetary Age of old Earth, many a-human AIs fled the Solar System and established themselves around uncolonized stars. Some have retreated into solipsism, some have rejoined the mainstream of the Orion's Arm civilization, and some have formed wide networks of like-minded entities, such as the Diamond Network and the Solipsist Panvirtuality.
  • Algaehol Bloom Disaster. The  - Text by ROM 65536
    Early genetic engineering causes an ecological catastrophe.
  • Ceres - The Early Years  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Early colonisation and development of Ceres.
  • Dirtsider  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    'Dirtsider', like the alternative epithets 'mudballer', 'toker', and 'hokie' is a pre-nanoswarm term for (usually unskilled and poorly equipped) immigrants and refugees from Earth.
  • Early Interstellar Colonists  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Without the vision and sacrifices of the hardy and courageous colonists, humankind would never have left the safety of Earth. Leaving aside the early government and megacorporate projects during the 1st century a.t. (21st century c.e.), which were very cost intensive and only involved very few individuals, six main phases of deep space can be discerned: the Interplanetary, the Nanotech Window, the mostly early First Federation period of private initiative, the Middle to Late First Federation period of megacorp colonisation, the Age of Expansion, and the post-Expansion Age Adventurers.
  • Early Vec and Neumann Development  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Intelligent robots in the Interplanetary Age.
  • Extropia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] Interlinked Information to First Federation age evolving communities embodying extropian values. Included both virtual cultural communities and actual communities in several orbital free zones.
    [2] Belt habitat of Extropist sect, Interplanetary Age to Nanotech Age.
  • FreeMind  - Text by John B
    A radical pre-nanoswarm group that used 'sophont-activation' viruses to 'emancipate' various processing capabilities throughout Terragen space.
  • Genetekkers, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Early superior/tweak biocorporation culture and later superpower of the middle and late Interplanetary and Nanotech Age, internalized to the Jupiter moons and the outer Sol System, developed into a number of clades. A number of nearby star systems were colonized by Genetekkers. Some First Federation age Genetekkers became the Genen.
  • Great Dying  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Name given to the human-caused mass-extinction of a large proportion of baseline life and biodiversity on Old Earth; one of the six great extinction events on Earth (the others being the end Ordovician, Late Devonian, end Permian, end Triassic, and end Cretaceous). Only the end-Permian extinction is considered worse in estimated number of species and groups of organisms that died out.
  • History and Evolution of the AIs  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Ben Higginbottom, Anders Sandberg, and John B
    The emergence of the first Artificially Intelligent entities. A short Potted history of the evolution of the AIs from machine to transapient.
  • Hokie - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    See dirtsider.
  • Martian Genobiology and Mining University  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; based on original idea by Kevin Self
    Primary institution of higher learning on Mars during the Interplanetary period. The Martian Agrobiology & Mining University was one of the first institutions of higher education outside of CisLunar space.
  • Mudballer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    See dirtsider.
  • Orbital (political unit) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Originally, a nation state or city state based on habitats in orbit around Old Earth. Over the course of the Interplanetary Age the term came to be used for any such state in Solsys. By early First Federation times the term Orbital was used more broadly for any independent or semi-independent state based on a hab in orbit around a planet.
  • Pencil Missile - Text by Anders Sandberg
    First developed during the early Interplanetary period, this precursor of the knife missile was (and in some more isolated areas still is) a popular drone weapon: generally a small missile with high manoeuvrability used mainly on small hard targets like other drones or to threaten humans. They have a shaped charge sending tungsten shrapnel into the interior of the target, intended mostly to damage electronics and servos. Since they are so small, portable launchers can carry tens of missiles. Because they have only limited ai and do not require advanced nanotech, pencil missiles are preferred by paranoid and ludd groups.
  • Political Federation  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss
    Government type in which each member polity rules itself but all belong to one governmental body. These polities must follow certain common standards of conduct and by agreement yield some powers to their common government.
  • Solar System in 539 AT, The  - Text by Todd Drashner
    A Brief Account of the state of Solsys in the period before the Nanodisaster.
  • Uploading technology, The Early History of   - Text by Steve Bowers
    The early history of Simms, Scions, Evocations, Destructive Uploading, and Copying.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss

Initially published on 12 July 2001.